Ylan Mui of the Washington Post: "The implosion of the subprime lending market has left a scar on the finances of black Americans -- one that not only has wiped out a generation of economic progress but could leave them at a financial disadvantage for decades. At issue are the largely invisible but profoundly influential three-digit credit scores that help determine who can buy a car, finance a college education or own a home. The scores are based on consumers' financial history and suffer when they fall behind on their bills." CW: a particularly sordid chapter in the annals of our upside-down moral code: the most vulnerable suffer the most; the perps drive their Bentleys to Rmoney fundraisers in the Hamptons. ...
... Yes, We Still Have Slaves. New York Times Editors: "When companies [like WalMart] force suppliers to slash costs, corners will be cut and workers will be abused. Congress and the Department of Labor need to make sure that sprawling supply chains and profits are not built upon the systematic erosion of workplace conditions and laborers’ rights."
Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times: "In the first public accounting of its kind, cellphone carriers reported that they responded to a startling 1.3 million demands for subscriber information last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations. The cellphone carriers' reports, which come in response to a Congressional inquiry, document an explosion in cellphone surveillance in the last five years.... The reports also reveal a sometimes uneasy partnership with law enforcement agencies, with the carriers frequently rejecting demands that they considered legally questionable or unjustified. At least one carrier even referred some inappropriate requests to the F.B.I."
Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post: an April 20 auto crash that killed three U.S. Army commandos & three female prostitutes "exposed a team of Special Operations forces that had been working for months in Mali, a Saharan country racked by civil war and a rising Islamist insurgency. More broadly, the crash has provided a rare glimpse of elite U.S. commando units in North Africa, where they have been secretly engaged in counterterrorism actions against al-Qaeda affiliates."
Jan Crawford at CBS News: "Discord at the Supreme Court is deep and personal after Chief Justice John Roberts' surprise decision to side with the liberal justices in upholding a large portion of the president's health care plan.... This conflict has been brewing for some time. You can trace it back to the first full term of the new Roberts Court." ...
... Jonathan Peters in Slate: "The court has a long and colorful history of leaks that dates back to the mid-19th century. Just like last week, leaks have sprung in the past commenting on a decision soon after the justices released it. Inside accounts of the personal relationships among the justices have long been served up to journalists. Indeed, some court opinions have leaked even before the justices had a chance to announce them."
Philip Caulfield of the New York Daily News: "A member of Jordan's parliament pulled a gun on one of his critics during a fiery debate on live TV last week. The parliament member, identified by the Times of Israel as Mohammed Shawabka, was arguing about Jordan's policies toward the uprising in Syria with a political activist named Mansour Sayf al-Din Murad." CW: maybe it's just as well are Sunday talkshows are just innocuous B.S. with video. ...
... AND, speaking of people who should not be on Sunday talkshows. Ian Millhiser of Think Progress: "On ABC News' This Week this morning, [George] Will resumed his crusade against science, this time trying to blame the record heat wave spreading across America on an ordinary summer.... The fact that Will is so completely incapable of adapting to new information — not to mention his record of printing pure falsehoods -- raises serious questions about why the Washington Post continues to publish him." With video.
Your Politico Democratic Scandalette for Today. Alex Isenstadt: Democratic operatives are "stalking" Republican Congressional candidates & taking pictures & videos of their fancy houses.
Where Are They Now? Would you want this guy operating on you? Well, he grew up, so to speak, to be a doctor AND a U.S. Senator. Answer in yesterday's Commentariat.
** Paul Krugman contrasts George Romney and Mitt Rmoney, presidential candidates. It's a great column. ...
... CW: when my grandmother was a teenager, she came across some papers in the attic that showed the family were descended from English royalty. My grandmother was thrilled and asked her mother why she had never been told of her famous forebears. Great Grandmama sniffed, "Because we don't want to let people know how far down we've come." Well, look how far down the Romneys came in just one generation.
M. J. Lee & Byron Tau of Politico: "Democrats took to the Sunday shows to attack Mitt Romney's foreign financial dealings, drawing attention to the Republican candidate's Swiss bank account to try to promote his wealthy, out-of-touch businessman persona." ...
... Ditto from Pema Levy of TPM, with some good quotes.
Sometimes Ads Work. Susan Page of USA Today on a USA Today/Gallup poll: "In the battleground [states], one in 12 say the commercials have changed their minds about President Obama or Republican Mitt Romney -- a difference on the margins, but one that could prove crucial.... Obama is the clear winner in the ad wars. Among swing-state voters who say the ads have changed their minds about a candidate, rather than just confirmed what they already thought, 76% now support the president, vs. 16% favoring Romney."
Michael Barbaro & Sarah Wheaton of the New York Times report on Rmoney's fabulous fundraisers in the Hamptons. My favorite vignettes:
Rich People Are Important. A woman in a blue chiffon dress poked her head out of a black Range Rover here on Sunday afternoon and yelled to an aide to Mitt Romney. 'Is there a V.I.P. entrance? We are V.I.P.'
Rich People Are Charitable to the Needy. Ted Conklin, the owner of the American Hotel in Sag Harbor, long a favorite of the Hamptons' well-off and well-known, could barely contain his displeasure with Mr. Obama. 'He is a socialist. His idea is find a problem that doesn't exist and get government to intervene,' Mr. Conklin said from inside a gold Mercedes, as his wife, Carol Simmons, nodded in agreement. Ms. Simmons paused to highlight what she said was her husband’s generous spirit. 'Tell them who's on your yacht this weekend! Tell him!' Over Mr. Conklin’s objections, Ms. Simmons disclosed that a major executive from Miramax was on Mr. Conklin's 75-foot yacht, because, she said, there were no rooms left at the hotel.
... AND Yet Another Marie Antoinette. Maeve Reston of the Los Angeles Times reports on the events. "The common person" doesn't understand that "Obama is hurting them." ...
... Zandar of Balloon Juice: "On one level, she's right. We're just too dumb to get how we've been mauled economically by people in Range Rovers with East Hampton beach permits." ...
... Charles Pierce: "The people waiting in line to help Willard Romney hand the country back to what they perceive to be its rightful owners simply do... not... care [what happens to other people]. The fact that this is a bad political message is the least of its horrors." ...
... So these people, who also live on Long Island, did not go to a single one of the Rmoney bashes. This documentary airs on HBO at 9 pm ET:
... AP: "Mitt Romney privately raised millions of dollars from New York's elite on Sunday, as Democrats launched coordinated attacks against the likely Republican presidential nominee, intensifying calls for him to explain offshore bank accounts and release several years of tax returns." ...
... Nicole Fuller of Newsday: "About 150 protesters demonstrated outside a Southampton fundraiser Sunday for likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at the home of New York businessman David Koch, chanting 'We are the 99 percent' and 'Money out, voters in.'" ...
... Brendan O'Reilly of Southampton Patch: "Two boaters in waters off The Creeks, billionaire Ronald Perelman's 57-acre East Hampton Village estate — where Mitt Romney was scheduled to be present for a campaign fundraiser — were arrested Sunday afternoon when they failed to comply with police orders, according to police." ...
... Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times: "and the Republican National Committee raised $106.1 million in June, a substantial increase in Mr. Romney's fund-raising pace and a sign of the growing competitiveness of the battle for campaign dollars against President Obama."
Sheldon Alberts: "A new poll for The Hill found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama's first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership." CW: what this poll really shows is that Americans think the president has a lot more power than he has. Plus, the questions are pretty loaded.
President Obama speaks about extending tax cuts to middle-class families:
New York Times: "The Justice Department on Monday unsealed the indictment of five people in the killing of a Border Patrol agent whose death was linked to the disputed gun-trafficking investigation called Operation Fast and Furious. Four of the defendants are fugitives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation offered a $1 million reward for any information that leads to their capture."
New York Times: "With Spain's borrowing costs climbing again to critical levels, European finance ministers decided early Tuesday to speed up their promised bailout for the country's troubled banks, while also giving the cash-tight government more time to rein in its budget deficit."
New York Times: "Within hours of Lance Armstrong's filing of a lawsuit Monday that sought to block the United States Anti-Doping Agency from punishing him for doping violations it has charged him with, a federal judge in Austin, Tex., struck the suit down, dealing Armstrong a swift and smarting blow in his hometown."
New York Times: "In an unmistakable message to China delivered in a speech from this neighboring country [Mongolia], Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that economic success without meaningful political reform was unsustainable, an equation that would ultimately lead to instability."
New York Times: "President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt on Sunday unexpectedly ordered the country's Islamist-led Parliament to reconvene, challenging earlier decisions by Egypt's most powerful generals and judges to dissolve the legislative body."
Guardian: "Libya's former interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril has won a landslide victory in the country's first democratic election, provisional figures show, defying expectations that the Muslim Brotherhood would sweep to power."
AP: "All six troops killed in a weekend roadside bombing in eastern Afghanistan were Americans, NATO confirmed Monday. German Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, disclosed their nationalities at a briefing, but said he could not provide other details about the incident because it was still under investigation. He said a seventh NATO service member killed Sunday in a separate insurgent attack in the south also was an American."
AP: "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has given his permission for the exhumation of the remains of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, a top aide said Monday, days after a Swiss institute reported finding elevated traces of a radioactive substance on the late leader's belongings."
Reuters: "Russia's emergencies minister accused local officials on Monday of not doing enough to prevent 171 deaths in weekend floods that raised new doubts about the country's readiness for natural disasters under President Vladimir Putin."
Al Jazeera: "International envoy Kofi Annan has said he agreed with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on an 'approach' to end Syria's conflict that would be put to the rebels."